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Thursday, January 31

UNHRC condemns Israel and more
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Significant international and local developments are happening.  Israel attacked Syria in violations of the UN charter and this will seems intended to provoke a war.  Israel also did not show up at a mandatory review of its human rights record in front of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). All 193 U.N.-member nations are required to submit to such a review every four years, and council diplomats said they worried that if nation were let off the hook that could undermine the process. Israel was the first country to do so in the history of the council setting a precedent that is very dangerous.   But the most significant development is that the UNHRC appointed an independent commission which just finished a study that took months.  The 154 pages of in depth investigation is titled “Report of the independent international fact-finding mission  to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on  the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of  the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied  Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.” It concluded that Israeli colonial settlements in the areas occupied in 1967 could be brought to task as war crimes under International law. 

The commission also stated that all settlements (including in East Jerusalem) are illegal and severely violated Palestinian human rights and that Israeli leaders could be brought to task for violating international law.  All that is needed is a technicality: for Palestinians to join the Rome statute and bring the case before the International Criminal Court.  It remains to be seen if the Palestinian leadership would get serious or will continue lying to us (after all, they told us that the reason for the upgrade at the UN from an observer organization to a non-member state is to join UN agencies and hold Israel accountable).  But this is not the first time we are lied to.  The last few years we were told about the reconciliation agreement with Hamas will be implemented (soon or on particular dates) and all dates passed without implementation.  The last was when Fatah leaders told us that the interim government will be appointed before the end of this month (January).  Well, this is also passed.  We remain trapped in the shit hole that is the Oslo accords that have long expired (1998) and that Israel violated anyway in its supposed 5 year interim period (1993-1998).  Meanwhile this remains the most profitable occupation in history with $10-20 billion in revenue that Israel gets from occupying the West Bank and Gaza (and that is not counting the settlements!).  The ball is in the court of the PLO even as that network needs to recreate itself to represent the Palestinian people rather than the elite . Below are other things worth pondering including exposition of Israeli lies and myths.

Note: Tomorrow/Friday are weekly demonstrations in various locations.  My recommendation is the 3 PM demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem to protest the ongoing illegal colonial settlement activity ( stolen lands and houses from natives to serve Europeans just because they are Jewish).

The full UNHCR report is here
see also

Israeli TV admits: No rockets were ever fired from UNRWA schools in Gaza during “Cast Lead”

The Gift of the Other: Why I Do Not Want to Leave Palestine/Israel by LYNDA BURSTEIN BRAYER

New book: Tel Aviv historian uncovers “Land of Israel” myths 

What I Learned About Empire in the West Bank

Israel admits Ethiopian women were given birth control shots

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

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